Former Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio fined $100,000 by Commanders for ‘dustup’ comments

Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is seen during an NFL football practice at Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Va., Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez) (Luis M. Alvarez, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ex-Jaguars coach and current Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was fined $100,000 by the team on Friday after his comments earlier in the week about the aftermath of the George Floyd protests and the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Commanders coach Ron Rivera announced the punishment of Del Rio, and that his fine will be donated to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund. Del Rio served as Jacksonville’s head coach from 2003 until Week 12 of the 2011 season when he was fired by Wayne Weaver.

“This morning I met with Coach Del Rio to express how disappointed I am in his comments on Wednesday,” Rivera said in a statement. “His comments do not reflect the organization’s views and are extremely hurtful to our great community here in the DMV. As we saw last night in the hearings, what happened on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was an act of domestic terrorism. A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and as a result, lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged.

“Coach Del Rio did apologize for his comments on Wednesday and he understands the distinction between the events of that dark day and peaceful protests, which are a hallmark of our democracy. He does have the right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States and it most certainly is his constitutional right to do so. However, words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community. I want to make it clear that our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the actions of those on January 6 who sought to topple our government.”

Del Rio posted a tweet on Monday comparing the Floyd protests and the insurrection. He doubled down on it during a media availability on Wednesday, calling the insurrection a “dustup.”

“People’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem,” Del Rio said. “And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re going to make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards.”

After significant backlash and calls for the Commanders to fire him from players and the NAACP, Del Rio released an apology and said his wording was “irresponsible and negligent.”

“After reflecting on the situation and circumstances, I have decided to fine Coach Del Rio $100,000, which the team will donate to the United State Capitol Police Memorial Fund,” Rivera said in his statement. “I feel strongly that after our conversation this morning, he will have a greater understanding for the impact of his language and the values that our team stands for.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.